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News #188: The future Hanoi airport train
Jakarta East-West MRT, KL-Ipoh HSR proposal, Borneo Railway, Singapore urbanism, Danang's mega metro plan, and more transport and urban development news.
Hello from Hanoi. I probably say this every time I am here, but it’s good to be back.
This week’s main article was inspired by my nearly flawless entry into the country. While I have been to Hanoi countless times, this was the first time I arrived here via an international flight.
I was impressed with how modern and spacious Noi Bai International Airport is (especially compared to Tan Son Nhat in HCMC). My flight arrived in the afternoon and Emirates and Qatar were also at the terminal. That is usually a bad sign at Tan Son Nhat as there will be people spilling out into the corridor queueing at immigration.
I arrived at immigration and found a queue with four people in the line. Hanoi has a separate line for Vietnamese (unlike HCMC where everyone is stupidly in the same queue).
I cleared immigration, and by the time I went to the toilet, my bag was already on the carousel. I stepped outside and it was a perfect sunny Autumn day in Hanoi. I went to the bus stop and the bus was already there.
Things were going too well, so the bus trip put an end to that. The bus was already full when I arrived, and it was standing-room only. The bus then went to the domestic terminal, where more passengers were expected to squeeze on.
While I was standing for the 27 km journey, I wondered what was happening with the proposed metro line to connect the airport to the old city. I have now started a fact sheet to keep track of Line 2 of the Hanoi Metro.
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Line 2 (Hoan Kiem Line) of the Hanoi Metro is a proposed rapid transit railway that will connect Noi Bai International Airport to the old city area in Hoan Kiem District.
"Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of goods and promote economic growth."
• Analysis: Indonesia begins study for extending Whoosh! to Surabaya
• If you want to see what failed urban planning looks like, here is the Canggu shortcut in Bali, and here is a before and after video.
• Singapore urbanism by
“…the city also eyes the building of 2 MRT lines, 11 LRT lines, 3 tourist LRT lines or other methods equivalent to transportation capacity and speed, a public transport line (urban railway or other equivalent method) connecting Da Nang with Hoi An in Quang Nam Province and Lang Co Town in neighbouring Thua Thien Hue Province.”
• Who needs canal locks when you can rig up a boat transfer system like this. Apparently, it’s somewhere in Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta (though the account that posted the video doesn’t know how hashtags work). Check the boat driver paying the toll. I 🧡 Vietnam.